Generally speaking, I hate lyrics. Lyrics are like the bastard-child
of all the components of a song, and more often then not, they
are under-utilized, if not out-right abused, from the beginning.
Many a "poet" writes a good phrase but rarely syncs
it up with the thought and feel of the song; many a vocal line
is ruined by the sheer inaneness of the lyric that it accompanies;
that is why I say I hate lyrics. But there are some bands that
get it right, and Stereotyperider is one of them.
They evoke memories of underground music in the late eighties,
when bands talked to the audience - told them how they felt and
what they saw was wrong with the system. Not preachy, mind you,
just direct. They don't force their observations down your throat,
rather give you the information and let you decide for yourself.
To me that is the most effective lyric there is. It's personal,
it's informal, and it's blended into the tapestry of the song
such that it is, and is not there at the same time.
Woven into a beautiful melody of material, simple yet driving
guitar lines, and pounding drums, this band hits the mark with
thoughtful lyrics. Now, I am not calling them brilliant mind you,
I am just saying there are enough brilliant lines sprinkled throughout
this entire album to get me to take notice. Starting with "You're
not safe with us", they eloquently jibe on the current musical
mainstream "I hope you can deal with/all the songs that sound
the same", and "Static" dealing with radio "obey,
conform, consume/it's the art of resistance". Not exactly
poetry as you read it, but fused with half yelled vocals, drive
and determination from the band, it is some truly smart stuff.
Production could have achieved a slightly higher high; bass is
under-produced, and drums only have sparse "Ah-ha" moments.
Guitars and vocals benefit the most from the mix, but even the
under-production lends itself to the under-dog-in-a-mainstream-world
sort of feel. To me the nostalgic underground feel that will have
me repeatedly coming back to this album as I constantly revolt
against the norm. Hell, we had a revolution back then, why can't
we kick off another one now?
Stereotyperider could lead the way with their chant in "New
Wave Smoke Signal", "You can change your fate/the light
is green so it seems/why not just start our own scene". I'm
there. Are you?
1) Down As
2) You're Not Safe With Us
3) Puncture the Burn
5) By Today's Standards, Old and Jaded
7) I own a King
9) Back to the Argument
10) Darkest Bruise
11) New Wave Smoke Signal
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